The Canon nFD 3.5/135 is a small, light and very affordable tele lens. Is the 40+ years old lens it still a contender in a world full of super fast and large 135 mm lenses?
Shoot out: SMC Pentax-M 135mm f/3.5 vs. Canon nFD 135mm f/3.5 vs. Panagor PMC auto tele 135mm f/2.8
In my search for a compact but good budget telelens I came across the SMC Pentax-M 135mm f3.5 and the Canon newFD 135mm f/3.5. Later, I also found a Panagor PMC auto tele 135mm f/2.8 in Canon FD mount. These lenses are cheap, light, and small, but how do they perform?
Disclaimer: I only tested one sample of the Canon and Panagor, and two samples of the Pentax. Since these lenses are old there might be more sample variation than usual, other samples might perform slightly better or worse. Both Pentax samples displayed similar performance.
|Specifications||Canon newFD 135mm f/3.5||SMC Pentax-M 135mm f/3.5||Panagor PMC auto tele 135mm f/2.8 (FD)|
|Diameter||63 mm||63 mm||61 mm|
|Length||85 mm||66 mm||88 mm|
|Filter diameter||52 mm||49 mm||55 mm|
|Weight (ex. Adapter)||325 g||270 g||411 g|
|Minimal focus distance||1.3 m||1.5 m||1.5 m|
(*Based on the optical design of this lens for other mounts)
Continue reading 135mm legacy Shoot out: SMC Pentax-M f/3.5 vs Canon nFD f/3.5 vs. Panagor f/2.8
The Canon FD 2.8/300 L was one of the most highly regarded manual super tele lenses in the 80s. Today it can be had for much less money and in this review I evaluate how it performs today on a modern mirrorless camera.
You can find all images shown in this image in full resolution in my Canon FD 300mm f/2.8 L flickr album.
The Canon 1.2/85 is a legend of a lens and in this review I put it’s earliest incarnation to the test on my Sony a7II.
|Filter Thread||72 mm|
|Close Focusing Distance from the sensor||1 m|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|Elements/ Groups||8/6, floating elements|
In Germany you can buy it used for around 650€ at ebay.de (affiliate link).
This guide was written to give you a good idea what to expect from Canon’s older FD lenses, many of which still perform very well on modern digital cameras.
All tests are performed with the 24MP full frame Sony a7/a7ii. Our ratings are always based on using the lenses with these cameras, the evaluation will be a different one on a smaller sensor. To learn more about using manual lenses on the Sony a7 check our beginners guide.
Most of these summaries are based on our own experience but we also decided to also include lenses we haven’t used ourselves to pool useful information we found on the net which we have summarized based on our experience with reviewing lenses. We would also be very happy if you shared your own experience with Canon FD lenses we don’t have any reliable information on yet. We are quite picky with the information we use though. That’s because 95% of the information we come across is unreliable: Everyone has different standards, Person A might rate the very same lens as a great performer while person B thinks it’s total junk. So we are mostly interested in full resolution images taken with a fullframe camera including information on the aperture used.
If you purchase the lens through one of the affiliate-links in this article we get a small compensation with no additional cost to you.
Canon (n)FD 4/17
Status: Used by Jannik for a short time in the past
- At f/4 the center is quite good but…
- … I’d recommend to stop down to f/11 for usable sharpness across the frame although it never gets tack sharp, partially because of the very strong lateral CA.
- Very low distortion (the biggest quality of this lens, especially in the film era), bad flare resistance and 6-bladed aperture.
- Medium size, and average price/performance ratio.
- The age of this legacy lenses shows clearly when it iscompared to modern options. Nevertheless, it is pretty usable if you give the files some love in the post processing (remove CA’s and sharpening).
buy from ebay (affiliate link)